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Western Kentucky University

Media Relations

Innovative journalists, innovative tech, innovative funding

A team of entrepreneurial journalists from WKU launched a $19,500 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign this week to help underwrite a unique editorial exploration of the Chinese government-funded Confucius Institute.

Titled “Inside Confucius,” the project has 30 days to generate audience interest and reach its funding goal through Kickstarter.com.

Meanwhile, the 11 journalists of Western iMedia are already busy producing their multifaceted print-digital narrative through a series of sophisticated poster infographics and augmented reality video.

Western iMedia is an entrepreneurial editorial startup operated out of WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting. It is an exclusive and non-traditional capstone experience involving an elite team of the school’s media professionals-in-training.

The team is producing a multifaceted and detailed look inside the Confucius Institute through a series of more than a dozen visually enticing, intuitively explanatory infographic banners/posters digitally overlaid with mobile-accessed video articles providing increased depth of explanation and emotional context. The augmented-reality overlay technology is accessed through a camera-linked smartphone or tablet that will also allow interactive features promoting dynamic audience engagement.

The Kickstarter campaign was launched to help fund the project and to generate an appropriate audience. The project requires significant travel to examine Confucius Institute activities throughout the United States and in several other countries through the end of 2012 and in early 2013. Donations are being sought to help fund equipment, travel and production.

Details and opportunities to back the project are available through www.kickstarter.com/projects/westernimedia/inside-confucius.

“We’ve got an important story to tell and an innovative way to tell it,” said iMedia Fusion Journalist Gavin Ezell. “Our goal is to be more effective, to engage people on a level that traditional media can’t or don’t.”

For more information on the project or to schedule an interview with Mckenzi Loid (iMedia audience lead) or Kerry Northrup (iMedia coordinator), please call 1-803-474-3385 or email imedia@wku.edu.

Members of the Western iMedia staff are: Jake Boswell of Owensboro, Ky.; Gavin Ezell of Bowling Green, Ky.; Whitney Harper of Russellville, Ky.; McKenzi Loid of Bowling Green, Ky.; Lauren Lorance of Jeffersonville, Ind.; T.J.  Parker of Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Jacqui Powell of Elizabethtown, Ky.; Ethan Pugh of Brentwood, Tenn.; Ryan Vennell of Chatham, Ill.; and Scott Vennell of Chatham, Ill.

Contact: Mckenzi Loid, (270) 791-9522.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14